Well here we are again, another year behind us. This year really flew by, at least from my perspective. During this year, I (Johnny) and Enaut (Chief Editor) have tried dozens of different nutritional supplements and meal replacements.
From green powders to help boost your immune system, to nootropics to enhance your focus, to sleeping pills to ensure you get a good night rest. Heck, I’ve even tried mushroom coffees and constipation relief pills!
To reflect that variety, this year’s best and worst picks are slightly different. I chose the format to make sure that every category has some representation.
And to be clear, these are my picks, and my picks only. They are only reflective of my experience, like or dislike and not influenced by any company, or any staff here at LatestFuels.
All that out of the way, let’s find out what stood out to Johnny in 2023!!
Runner Up – Kaged
This one caught me by surprise, and really grew on me quickly. Flavor was great, it mixed super well and they had Amazon like next day shipping. If you have a chance, its definitely worth a try.
On the downside, it’s not a full on meal replacement because it lacks many vitamins and minerals. The price is quite steep as well, so take that into account.
Winner – Basically Food
On the other corner, we have Basically Food, a staple on the meal replacement market in the US.
The former Super Body Fuel has undergone a face lift, but still provides excellent nutrition, varying formulas, and an unbeatable price for their base product, BOOST. Basically Food, will leave you satiated, full of nutrients, and with money left over!
Therefore, Bascially Food takes the crown as the best meal replacement I’ve tried this year.
That said, you can check what our picks as the overall best meal replacement shakes are here.
Runner Up – Drink Wholesome Protein Powder
Less is more, I always say it.
Drink Wholesome’s protein powder proves it. Its pleasant tasting, and cause ZERO discomfort of any kind. Which is amazing because that means anyone should be able to have it. Make sure you blend and drink quickly, it doesn’t contain anything that will help it mix, or contains any preservatives, or artificial anything so you’ll be on the clock. But if you’re allergic to everything like me, this is for you.
Winner – Chike Protein Coffee
Probably the best way to satisfy your sweet tooth, get your caffeine and start a high protein all in one. Chike tastes every bit as good as the big brands, and with 1g of sugar, and only $2.50 per serving which is far cheaper than anything coming out of drive thru.
So skip that 10 car wait, and give Chike a try!
Latestfuel’s Favorite Protein
That said, I still think there are better options for protein powders out there:
- LyfeFuel Recovery: Best Protein Powder
- ProteinWorks Wondershake: Best Tasting Vegan Protein Powder
- Naked Whey: Best Protein Powder without Artificial Sweeteners
Runner Up – Lenny’s Complete Cookies
Tons of flavors, easily found in many stores, super tasty and filling. They offer up to 16g of protein per cookie! And if you’re into crunchy cookies, they have those as well providing 6g of protein. Some bars are a real chore to get down, but cookies, that actually taste like cookies are a welcome change.
Winner – Perfect Bar
Controversial? Perhaps, being that its a peanut butter based bar, but that worked in my favor. Most bars I can’t even have as the protein sources are tree nuts, but the peanut butter opened the door for me. They are all natural and organic, and the large bars have up to 18g of protein per bar. They also offer several flavors, easy to find in stores, and was downright pleasure to eat. I still enjoy these, and have some of the smaller ones each week.
It’s worth noting that these are NOT full meal replacement bars. They don’t provide the full micronutrient content that your body needs or essential omega-3 amino acids.
This year, at Latestfuels we’ve tried the new Huel Bars among others, which make a great complete snack.
However, the best meal replacement bar in our opinion is still the Plenny Bar.
Non-Drink Complete Food
Runner Up – Immi Ramen
A new high protein ramen has entered the chat. Flavors were decent, but the texture needs work. Its not on the level of Vite Ramen, but if you can find it for a decent price, consider it.
Winner – FPB Puffs
These were from our friends over at the Flavored Peanut Butter Company.
I had been wanting a high protein cereal for a while and they did deliver. With 15g of protein per serving, it was a fun way to get a good protein start to the day, without having another shake. I think they could use a price cut, and a bit more PB flavor, but still worth a try if in stock.
Best Non-Drink Complete Food
Still, if you are looking for the best non-drink complete food or meal replacements, that category is still topped by Huel Hot & Savory.
It was our product of the year when it was launched, and it has been the gift that keeps giving. This year we’ve seen new flavors like Pasta Bolognese and improvements to old classics like Mac & Cheeze. A must have in your cupboard.
Huel has also launched the Instant Pots, which are fairly similar to the Plenny Pots and YFood Pots – good alternatives to Huel H&S in Europe.
It was a slow year for RTDs, at least for me. I didn’t have any I reviewed all year. That said, there is one from the end of 2022 that I tried and like.
Soylent Cafe Latte
I know, I’m reaching, you’re right, but like I said…it was slow on the RTD front. I thought this was solid flavor from Soylent, and similar to the long since discontinued Cafe Vanilla.
That said, the best RTD available in the US is still Huel v2.0.
Editor’s Note: In Europe, I was able to try Ehrmann’s Foodie RTD drinks and they were absolutely delightful. The chocolate flavor was outstanding, and although the Berry and a couple more were forgettable, I highly recommend getting at least a starter pack.
Runner Up – Lil Sh!ts
Talk about being caught with your pants down! This little surprise from the company MixSupps, not only tastes great, it has extra fiber to help you go, as you probably guessed by the name. Each scoop is 3g fiber, making it scalable to you, and not like some laxative that could derail your whole day. Even safe for the kiddos.
Winner – Drink Wholesome Hydration Powder
I mentioned in my review, that this is the most refreshing drink I’ve ever had. I stand by that and will die on that hill. The simple ingredients, freshness of the blend, no extra nonsense and I genuinely felt like it quenched my thirst. Not just my mouth’s thirst, but my body’s thirst. I love this drink!
Editor’s Note: I’m hooked to Sneak Hydrate drinks. Sneak is a gaming energy drink company, but they’ve released these wonderful 0 caffeine flavors that I consume at regular basis. My favorite is Raspberry Lemonade
Runner Up – Neuro Gum/Mints
This was new ground for me this year, and the first thing I wanted, was fun way to get my brain in gear without another pill, or drink. Enter Neuro, their gum and mints really give a focus pick up for your day, keeps your breath in check and all with out unnecessary sugar which we all know are no good for your teeth.
Winner – CandyCan Gummies
Unfortunately, this company is no more…but their gummies certainly left a lasting impression on me. Especially the sleep gummies which improved my sleep tremendously. The focus and immunity gummies were also good, and again….a very fun and casual way to improve facets of your day and night without the need for more pills.
The Best Nootropics
Despite the above, at Latestfuels we really like Hunter Focus – a nootropic we discovered in 2022. After a year of using, and having tested multiple other products (Force Factor, Alpha Brain, Mind Lab Pro, Qualia Mind…), there’s no nootropic like Hunter.
The transparent formula tells you all you need to know: science-based ingredients at high effective doses.
Runner Up – Nootrum
Nootrum was a first for me. A mushroom supplement to help me calm, focus, and fight the daily stress.
While I was an skeptic at first, and the facts stated that it could be better, Nootrum really helped me out work more efficiently and calmly.
For that, I think it’s worth trying it out.
Winner – FlexAgain the Best Joint Supplement
Honestly, this is my product of the year.
While I didn’t actually take it, my mother took the plunge and had awesome results. She has chronic hip pain and after taking FlexAgain, she was out walking around her new neighborhood many times this summer. It always very encouraging to see a product live up to its promises, and FlexAgain surely does.
Runner Up – Vibrance
The year of 2023 saw A LOT of green drinks, many of which I got a chance to try. One that I didn’t expect to like was Vibrance, by CoBionic. While it won’t win many rewards as far as having every fruit, vegetable, shroom and probiotic as the top brands, where it wins is it’s versatility. It was easy to drink solo, in shakes, and as tea. Its mild fruit flavor was damn near perfect.
Winner – Huel Daily Greens
As much as I liked Vibrance, Huel Greens is the one that became my daily driver. It has the easy to drink properties like Vibrance, but also offers better ingredients and more transparency as to what’s in it, and how much. Its fairly new to market, but has already carved out its own place.
Greens Reviewed and the Best
While I did enjoy Huel Greens, and it’s the one I use while I have stock, the best green powder due to its efficiency and value is SuperGreen Tonik.
Products for the Bin
- SaladPower – $9 per serving vegetable smoothie pouches
- CTRL v2 – While having some improvements, it still fell far short of our expectations
- Premier Protein – While popular, there are far better options on the market.
- Onnit New Mood and Onnit Alpha Brain – One of the worst nootropics in the market
Another year, another round of products. Honestly, nothing really blew my mind, and while there were certainly likes, as seen in this article, most products kinda fell in the mushy middle. I feel the nootropic and supplement markets was where the innovation truly was, while the RTD segment was very lackluster.
But as I wrap this, and hopefully not sounding like an award show speech, I do want to genuinely thank everyone for their patronage and support. In a world you’re being pulled in infinite directions, and everything/everyone is vying for your attention, we really appreciate all those that gave us just a slice of their precious time.
Thank you, have a great new year and see you in 2024!